H. pylori Urea Breath Test
The urea breath test (UBT) is one of the most important non-invasive methods for detecting Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
H. pylori infection is common in North America. It can cause ulcers in the stomach (gastric ulcers) and small intestines (duodenal ulcers), stomach pain, stomach inflammation (gastritis) and acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux). This infection increases stomach cancer risk. H. pylori can also create functional dyspepsia, which makes people get full faster and feel full longer. Once identified, H. pylori can be treated and symptoms can resolve.
Alternative names: Breath Test,UBiT, Urea Breath Test, H. pylori
- H. pylori Breath Test
Methodology: Infra-red Spectrophotometry (IR)
Fasting: Do not eat or drink for 1 hour prior to taking the test.
Water: Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Medications: Do not take any of the following medications for 2 weeks prior to the test:
- All antibiotics
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or their generic versions such as Aciphex® (rabeprazole), Nexium® (esomeprazole), Prevacid® (lansoprazole), Prilosec® (omeprazole), Prilosec OTC® (omeprazole), Protonix® (pantoprazole), Zegerid® (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate), and Dexilant® (dexlansoprazole)
- Bismuth preparations such as Pepto Bismol®
Do not take any of the following medications for 24-48 hours prior to the test:
- Histamine blockers (H2 antagonists) are a class of acid blocking medications similar. They include Zantac® (ranitidine), Tagamet® (cimetidine), Pepcid® (famotidine), and Axid® (nizatidine). The effect of histamine blockers may reduce urease activity on urea breath tests. Histamine blockers may be discontinued for 24-48 hours before the test.
If you are taking antacids:
- You may continue taking antacids prior to testing.
When testing to confirm that the infection has been eradicated:
- The test should be administered at least 4 weeks after completion of treatment. The conditions above also apply.
3 Business Days
Result turnaround times are estimates and not guaranteed. Due to factors outside of our control, such as weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing or equipment maintenance, our lab may require additional time to complete tests.
H. pylori C Urea Breath Test (Mayo Clinic)
Cheung KS, Chan EW, Wong AYS, Chen L, Wong ICK, Leung WK. Long-term proton pump inhibitors and risk of gastric cancer development after treatment for Helicobacter pylori: a population-based study. Gut. 2018;67(1):28-35.
Makristathis A, Hirschl AM, Megraud F, Bessede E. Review: Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Helicobacter. 2019;24 Suppl 1:e12641.
Tomohiko S, Masaki I, Nobue H, Yoko H, Masuo N, Susumu T. Gastric Acid Normosecretion Is Not Essential in the Pathogenesis of Mild Erosive Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Relation to Helicobacter pylori Status. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2004;V49(5):787-794.